Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
on 12 April 2014
I have read this book so many times I've lost count! Pretty Poison is an excellent tale, and very well written..
I found the characters well-rounded and their motivations understandable for the most part. The only thing I struggle to understand is Wade's dismissive treatment of Noah at the beginning, which seemed to serve little purpose. However, the rest of the story moves on and that day or so becomes less important. The characters' reactions to events were realistic and I think the human and shifter politics were well done; not that there was much of it in the book, just that the explanations worked well.
One of the best elements of this book, I think, is that the characters seem to be rational beings. There are so many shifter stories with ridiculous over-the-top characters who react in such an extreme way that it's great to finally read one where I can think 'yeah, I might have done that'. No insta-love. No 'I am alpha, everybody bow down'. I liked that Wade's motivations had absolutely nothing to do with Noah as an individual (it sucks for Noah, but makes the story so much more believable), but it did mean that Wade was willng to make Noah's life a misery if the mating didn't work out (biologically tied forever to somebody who could never offer more than just a warm body) or maybe he just hadn't thought that far ahead (I suspect this is the case).
I noticed one review where the dubcon element mentioned in the blurb is called into question. There is definitely dubcon, but the degree to which it should be considered as such is very much up to the reader. The dubcon happens once early on, where even though Noah didn't fight it, the fact that he didn't actually have a choice means that it could not possibly be consensual. It is impossible to consent where a choice doesn't exist, regardless of how turned on you feel. Noah even acknowledges this, and that is one of the strongest points of the story because most stories tend to gloss over the element of force, as though the one who has been forced is immune to the concept. Personally, I think the whole dubcon element was well done - it's definitely dubcon, not out-and-out rape - but I did find Wade's lack of acknowledgement of the position he put Noah in a bit worrying when they did get round to discussing their issues, but I think it was probably just not stated strongly enough. If the argument had gone just a little bit further, this review would have been 5*.
The ending was excellent - HEA, but not too saccharine. There is potential for more stories to be tacked on (maybe relating to another pack who has seen events unfold in Wade's pack, or a stray) but it's a great ending for a one-off story too. I suspect it will remain a one-off, but I'd buy a sequel without even reading the blurb.
This book certainly hits the spot and I definitely recommend it.